Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I wish to receive a list of all "Back to Work" providers providing work placements for the following schemes:

* Mandatory Work Activity
* Community Action Programme
* Work Experience
* Steps to Work

These should be lists of current employers who provide these types of placements, compiled from the provider lists at the following Job Centre Plus branches:

* Belle Vale
* Everton
* Wavertree
* Bootle Park House
* Garston
* Bootle Linacre House
* Old Swan
* Toxteth
* Norris Green
* Liverpool Williamson Square
* West Derby
* Liverpool Cressington House
* Crosby Hougomont House
* Edge Hill

Where the employer is a chain, I wish the receive the details of the branch(es) or store(s) participating in the scheme.

In the case that obtaining the details for the full list would exceed the cost limit, I wish to receive information for each JCP in the order on the list up to the cost limit.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Owen

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

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References

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request; please see the attached acknowledgement.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

Many thanks,

DWP Central FoI Team
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request '"Back to Work" scheme providers in Liverpool'.

In your reply you invoke sections 29 (1)(a), 29 (1)(b), 36(2)(c) and 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act as justifications for not disclosing this information. This response is intended to rebut these justifications and ask for an internal review of my freedom of information request.

Section 36(2)(c) of the Act protects information which, in the reasonable opinion of a Minister of the Crown, would be likely to damage the effective conduct of public affairs if disclosed. You invoked this exemption because “providing the names of organisations that host work placements could lead to campaign groups creating a list of organisations that host government employment programmes. This then runs the risk of campaign groups targeting placement organisations to cause them to withdraw from the scheme. These actions aim to create a climate which also discourages other organisations from joining the scheme with the intention of disrupting the delivery of government employment programmes.”

Section 36 is subject to a public interest test, so the following paragraph is intended to put forward a case that the public interest weighs in favour of disclosure of this information.

Programmes such as MWA are extremely controversial, as the government's own admission that this information may be used to campaign against those very programmes is testament to. This introduces a democratic interest in the transparency of these programmes; many people find these programmes immoral and/or unethical, and therefore wish to protest these programmes by boycotting and/or picketing these organisations. These freedoms are guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It therefore seems perverse that the government would use an exemption in the FOIA to justify non-disclosure of information with the expressly stated intent of preventing people from exercising their ECHR protected right to free expression with regard to these programmes; it is completely undemocratic for the government to hand unpaid workers to organisations under the threat of poverty and use the Freedom of Information Act to justify refusing to tell the public who the government is handing these claimants to.

You go on to say “Thwarting the delivery of the policy in this way would be likely to undermine the benefits to the wider economy of moving jobseekers off benefit into employment. Such disruption is also detrimental to the job prospects of individual jobseekers who will not benefit from the
disciplines and support the government employment programmes offer.”

This argument is essentially a red-herring, as there has been no proven benefit of the MWA and other schemes in regards to helping claimants to find work. The DWP's own admission ( http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/ad... ) is that these schemes have not been shown to significantly assist claimants in finding work. I cannot therefore consider this a strong argument weighing against the public interest of the disclosure of this information.

You further provide a numbered list of the ways in which you believe that disclosure would create prejudice under sections 29, 36 and 43. To address these points:

1. There is an inherent risk in a private provider engaging in a highly controversial government scheme or programme which they should be aware of from the beginning. The unpopularity of a government programme should not be a justification for a lack of transparency. The public interest should be weighed in the favour of disclosure for the reasons I have given above.
2. Again, I can only reiterate that there is no proven causal benefit of these programmes, and therefore I cannot consider the notion that disclosure may lead to the DWP paying more money in benefits as a prima facie fact.
3. Same as response to point 2.
4. I still fail to see how the DWP maintaining a highly controversial and unpopular programme, and thus incurring costs, is a public interest argument against disclosure, where the practise of democratic rights is being used as a justification for non-disclosure.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

Yours faithfully,

Ben Owen

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request; please see the attached acknowledgement.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk

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Talbot Gina DWP FLDM MCT, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

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